Financial services with global reach are becoming ever more important in the conduct and organization of the trade and investment of nations. Currencies that lack international standing lose out in this business. The result of financial development has been destabilizing currency and portfolio substitution in favour of international and against local currencies. Concrete investigations of alternative approaches to overcoming this monetary division formally in this volume range from hard pegs, such as Argentina's currency board, to formal dollarization, as in Ecuador, and monetary union, as in Europe. Basing their arguments on the beneficial effects on trade among monetary-union members and their financial development and stability, these studies suggest that monetary union deserves a much more sympathetic hearing than normally accorded by national and international decisionmakers.

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